“‘Raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.’ So said then-Sen. Obama in 2006, when he voted against raising the debt ceiling by less than $800 billion to a new limit of $8.965 trillion. As America’s debt now approaches its current $14.29 trillion limit, we are witnessing leadership failure of epic proportions.

I will vote to defeat an increase in the debt limit unless it is the last one we ever authorize and is accompanied by a plan for fundamental tax reform, an overhaul of our regulatory structure, a cut to discretionary spending, a balanced-budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid…

“I know that by writing this, I am inviting political attack. When I proposed reforms to Social Security during my campaign, my opponent spent millions on attack ads designed to frighten seniors. But demagoguery is the last refuge of the spineless politician willing to do anything to win the next election.

“Whether they admit it or not, everyone in Washington knows how to solve these problems. What is missing is the political will to do it. I ran for the U.S. Senate because I want my children to inherit what I inherited: the greatest nation in human history. It’s not too late. The 21st century can also be the American Century. Our people are ready. Now it’s time for their leaders to join them.”

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“Sen. Marco Rubio plans to sit on the sidelines entirely during the 2012 Republican presidential primary…

“Rubio said he plans to stay out of party squabbles in his home state next year, including in a primary battle for the other Florida Senate seat. To make his case, he subtly pointed to the fact that Washington Republicans, including the National Republican Senatorial Committee, initially backed his then-primary opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, in his 2010 race.

“‘I’m going to support the nominee, but I’m not going to endorse there,’ he said with a smile. ‘I had a bad primary experience.'”

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“After persistent questioning, Rubio ruled ruled out a run for president; at least in 2012.

“‘I am not running for president in 2012,’ Rubio told me…

“Rubio, however, was less definitive in his response to media speculation that he is the odds-on choice to be the GOP vice presidential nominee.”

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